Driving lower fuel, emissions

DESPITE a rocky recent history, Lismore-based company Permo-Drive has been vindicated somewhat after a shaky few years by winning the NSW Enterprise Workshop Award for Best Operations Plan and the Exceptional Enterprise Award.

The company has developed a regenerative drive system to be used in large commercial trucks and buses to help reduce fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and wear and tear on brakes.

"(The award) shows that we are on the right track," chairman Trevor Dunn said.

"When you look at all the positives to (the Permo-Drive system), it reduces the cost of fuel by 30%, wear on brakes by 80% and carbon emissions by 30%."

After nearly going into voluntary receivership in 2008, the company was saved by an injection of funds by OFS Sales Pty Ltd, formed by Mr Dunn and businessman Tony Hart.

"We realised we needed a business plan that reflected new business trends whilst promoting Permo-Drive's great product in order to maintain momentum and we were advised that the Enterprise Workshop was the best place to get assistance," Mr Dunn said.

He said he would now like to see the government "put their money where their mouth is" as far as supporting new enterprise goes.

"They say we have to cut emissions then perhaps there should be an incentive for truck drivers and owners to put our system on their vehicles, such as a subsidy," he said.

"Even without that, the system is cash flow positive straight away as it helps save on fuel."

Mr Dunn estimated that an average garbage truck expels around 68 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

"(A truck with the Permo-Drive system) can save at least 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year," he said.

Toll/Ipec Lismore has given it the thumbs up. Permo-Drive, which was formed in 2000 as a research and development company, is yet to start selling its regenerative drive systems.

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